In the mid to late nineteenth century, the agricultural periodical emerged as a major new medium for circulating information. In colonial settings it proved particularly important, as settlers often lived remotely from the markets for their produce, and they did not have existing farming traditions to rely upon. This paper traces the early history of agricultural periodicals in New Zealand and considers their position relative to other potential sources of farming instruction, such as agricultural colleges and the state. Through a case study of New Zealand’s first agricultural periodical, the "New Zealand Country Journal" (1877-1898), it then examines what kinds of information was being circulated, the sources of that information, and how this helped to shape farming practices in a "new" land.

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